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Memphis Steam Laundry Cleaner, Inc. v. Stone, 342 U.S. 389 (1952)

Memphis Steam Laundry Cleaner, Inc. v. Stone

No. 253

Argued December 3, 1951

Decided March 3, 1952

342 U.S. 389


A Mississippi "privilege tax," laid upon each person "soliciting business" for a laundry not licensed in the State, held invalid under the Commerce Clause, as applied to appellant, a foreign corporation operating a laundry and cleaning establishment in Tennessee and doing no business in Mississippi other than sending its trucks there to solicit business, pick up, deliver, and collect for laundry and cleaning. Pp. 342 U. S. 389-395.

1. If the tax be imposed upon the privilege of soliciting interstate business, it stands on no better footing than a tax on the privilege of doing interstate business, and it is invalid under the Commerce Clause. Pp. 342 U. S. 392-393.

2. If the tax be imposed on the privilege of conducting intrastate activities in Mississippi, it is invalid as one discriminating against interstate commerce -- because laundries not licensed in the State are taxed $50 per truck for such activities, whereas laundries licensed in the State are taxed only $8 per truck. Pp. 342 U. S. 394-395.

53 So.2d 89, reversed.

The Supreme Court of Mississippi sustained a "privilege tax" levied on appellant under Miss.Laws 1944, c. 138, §§ 3, 45, against a claim that it violated the Commerce Clause. 53 So.2d 89. On appeal to this Court, reversed, p. 342 U. S. 395.

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